Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Boomers Bought Pricey Oriental Rugs in Droves, But Their Children Shun Them

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 01, 2021 @ 08: 23 AM

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Two young newlywed doctors were just starting their lives together some years ago in Boston, and decorating the home of their dreams was an important undertaking. Everything was carefully chosen, especially the oriental rugs they bought for every room.

Despite a big burden of student loans, they believed the rug merchant who told them that handmade rugs were an excellent investment. He convinced the two that the rugs would appreciate over time and could be sold easily to pay for, say, big-ticket expenses in the future like their children's education.

While I was visiting her house to evaluate some furniture for consignment, the now middle-aged doctor proudly showed me the rugs. One silk rug, she said, was supposedly signed by the artist who designed it. Another rug, she said, had been woven by schoolgirls in a tiny village in Turkey. “Look at the intricacy of the knotwork,” she said, her tone hushed with awe.

Someday, she mused, “these rugs will pay for our daughter’s medical school.”

Inwardly, I gasped. We passed a bedroom where her teenage daughter was attending a class via zoom. Med school was fast approaching, and I couldn’t bear to break the bad news.

The truth is, very few rugs will ever appreciate in value, despite the false promises of salesmen. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, oriental rugs were in vogue as an important anchoring piece of traditional design. Since 2000, these distinctive rugs have fallen out of favor. Their resale value is minimal – if someone can find a buyer at all, which is unlikely.

At Furniture Consignment Gallery, our shoppers no longer follow the old decorating rule of starting the design process of a room with a rug. The floor up philosophy can work with spectacular rugs that are rare to see in our country. But, for the modest home, rugs are the final touch, chosen after the wall color, the furniture and the window dressings.

Moreover, millennial homeowners typically shun the oriental rugs that were such an important style statement for their parents’ generation. The Black and Gold colors from twenty years ago or the Burgundy and Blues from the Nineties are as offensive as the Pastels we shivered at when our parents offered them to us. Millennials favor more updated, modern designs. They love the colors of the Dash & Albert, Pottery Barn and Company C, which sell quickly out of our stores when we get them on consignment.

The woman didn’t ask my opinion about the marketability of her rugs, so I chose not to break her heart. FCG would take a hard pass on her rugs. A hard reality awaits as the rug bucket might not pay for the books for her daughter’s medical school.

Making the Rounds of All Three Stores, "FCG Hoppers" Get a Big Welcome at Every Stop

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 24, 2021 @ 06: 46 AM

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After moving from Colorado to Boston, the young couple was working long hours and sleeping on a mattress they’d hauled across the country and tossed on the floor of their new apartment. When they decided they’d outgrown sleeping on the floor, they came to FCG.

“We need a bed,” they told me. “Just a bed. Keep it simple.”

As it turned out, finding the right bed was far from simple. The first bed had too high of a headboard. “It will block the window,” the woman said. Another bed was too expensive. A third was the too dark for their tastes. The fourth was, as the man said, “too girly.”

After an hour or so, we were running out of options in our store in Plymouth. I introduced them to our very capable manager, Brad, and reassured the couple we wouldn’t abandon the search. Unfortunately, though, I had things to attend to at our headquarters in Hanover.

I drove 24.3 miles north to our very first store on Route 53 in Hanover, my mind racing through the day’s agenda. When I walked into the showroom, though, something caught my eye. It was, I realized with growing excitement, the perfect bed for this couple. The two arrived an hour later to check out my theory.

The bed was a hit: the right height, color and price. They quickly loaded it into their car and headed back to Boston.

The Colorado couple are among a growing number of customers who are hopping between our three stores looking for furniture. In some cases, they’ll scoot between Hanover, Plymouth and Natick in a single shopping trip.

We’ve dubbed them the FCG Hoppers, and we welcome them at every stop. Seeing is believing at our stores, and once they get a glimpse of the vast inventory at one store, they inevitably get curious about what we’ve got in the other stores.

They’re a new and exciting customer for us, and we’re happy to help. We understand that a bed is rarely just a bed when you’re creating a home.

FCG Comes to the Rescue as a Foam Shortage Rocks the New Furniture Industry

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 17, 2021 @ 08: 09 AM

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There’s a new crisis in the world of furniture, and it’s all about foam. Or, rather, the sudden shortage of foam.

It’s a situation with complex roots. Texas and Louisiana are the epicenters of the foam industry. That’s where the nation’s largest foam manufacturers – and the necessary raw materials – are located. Both states were shut down a month ago with severe winter weather.

The result: a knock-out punch for the furniture and bedding industry, which was already reeling from supply chain problems caused by Covid.

The repercussions are rippling through the furniture industry at the worst possible time. Home sales are booming and new homebuyers are understandably eager to feather their nests. They might have to make do with make shift furniture until 2022.

Wait times for new furniture have in recent weeks have stretched as far as seven to ten months. Prices are rising rapidly. Some furniture companies have stopped taking orders altogether until their backlog lessens.

Furniture Consignment Gallery is well-stocked and ready to help.

Last week, we met with panicked representatives of a property investment company that needed to furnish a multi-unit rental complex on Cape Cod. They’d just gotten word that the new furniture they’d ordered wouldn’t arrive until Labor Day. They were grateful to find a vast inventory of high-quality furniture available immediately at FCG.

Thanks to our robust pipeline of consignment furniture, their rental units will be fully stocked and furnished when beach season arrives.

If you’re worried you won’t have a sofa for your 4th of July celebration, don’t fret. Make a visit to FCG a high priority this weekend. You’ll find furniture in every style and color – and you might just decide to cancel that order for the new stuff. Your Summer starts now. You don't have to wait until Columbus Day to get comfortable in your home.

Fish the Magic Waters of FCG for the Best Furniture Bargains

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 10, 2021 @ 07: 29 AM

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As she made her way with steely determination across our showroom, she reminded me for a moment of a fly fisherman on the Colorado. Pinched between her fingers was a long loop of blue raffia. Dangling from it was a … lure? I shook myself out of my daydream.

No, actually, what looked like a lure was a price tag delicately speckled with information. She’d yanked it from a spectacular catch – a gorgeous dining set that had just arrived on our showroom floor – and now, judging from her quick step, she was excited to land that prize.   

FCG’s tags have an almost magical power. For one, they offer a wealth of information. They give details such name brand, the item’s measurements and the price. And that’s where it gets a bit complicated.

FCG has a very precise markdown schedule for our consignment furniture based on how long a piece of furniture lingers in the showroom. Every 30 days, the price drops 10%. As an example, an item consigned in early February will be 20% off its original sales price in mid-April. Some tags have a red stripe through the pricing information indicating that it has reached its lowest sale price.

Our determined fly fisherman – er, shopper – dangled the lure in front of me. She apparently wanted a bit more flexibility in the markdown schedule. “So the price goes down on May 10?” she asked with feigned innocence. “Could we pretend today is May 10?” 

That’s a ploy we’ve heard before. Customers try all sorts of tricks to get a lower price than the markdown schedule. But, at FCG, we also have a responsibility to our consignors who trust us to get them a fair price on their furniture.

In truth, most items don’t last long enough to have their prices marked down. Some 60% of newly consigned furniture sells within a month. Shoppers new to FCG often learn a hard lesson if they wait for a markdown on a piece of furniture they’ve fallen in love with. It's likely not to last a month in the showroom.

Our shopper didn’t make that mistake. She knew she’d found a piece of furniture that would be perfect for her home. She walked out of FCG triumphantly after we rang up the sale, confident that she’d landed the biggest fish in the river that day.

Pandemic Homebuying Frenzy Creates Stress for Buyers and Sellers: 5 Tips to Help

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 03, 2021 @ 08: 08 AM

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Moments after we unlocked the door, he burst into the store like a gunslinger looking for a brawl in an old Western. “It’s go time,” he barked at us. “We’re moving!

Apparently, this man was used to issuing orders and commanding action. He’d emailed FCG a day ago offering furniture for consignment, along with a vague threat to find other options if we didn’t comply quickly. I’d answered his email that morning while having my coffee at home.

Apparently, my response wasn’t fast enough for him. By the time I got to the store in Hanover, there were five emails from him, each one increasingly annoyed.

7:15 AM: “When can you pick up the furniture? 

7:28 AM: “We’re ready. When will I hear from someone?”

8:17 AM “Any chance of today?” 

8:42 AM “Can someone get back to me?”

9:08 AM “Hello….???!!!”

And, now, here he was like some Deadeye McGraw staring down the barrel of a gun at 9:53 AM.

We get it. There’s a real estate frenzy underway and homes are selling faster than a speeding bullet. This man had a hard deadline to move out of his home, and he was getting more anxious by the minute. At FCG, we’re ready and eager to help. Here are some tips that might take some of the stress out of a highly charged situation:

  • Be prepared for fast action. Expect a rapid series of showings, multiple offers and aggressive buyers. Start the process of paring down prior to listing your home. .
  • Be organized. Check first with family to see if they have interest in pieces that are sentimental to you. Storage is expensive and in short supply. Parting with the items may be necessary.
  • Create a list with photos of the items you’d like to consign. Remember: the better organized, the less panic. If you're good with spreadsheets this is the perfect time to put that expertise to good use.
  • Should your homebuyer show interest in your furnishings, give them a firm deadline to decide. If they drag their feet or appear unsure, got to the next option.
  • Leave yourself your essentials until you're walking out the door. Selling off your bed when you need a place to sleep creates stress too. Be efficient, but keep enough to stay comfortable.

Grandparents Gone Wild! Newly Vaccinated, They’re Planning to Celebrate the Holidays With Abandon

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 27, 2021 @ 07: 42 AM

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“Mangia, mangia!”

My Italian grandmother heaped a massive slice of lasagna onto my little brother’s plate chiding him all the while to eat. “I made this just for you!” she said sternly, shaking a wooden spatula at him. Thirty years later, I can still see her barely contained fury.

MiMa had discovered a dark secret about my brother and she was alarmed. He’d developed a taste for SpaghettiO’s which was an affront to all that she held dear, especially her reverence for traditional homemade pasta. Short of sending him away to a camp for wayward grandchildren, she was furiously cooking up a storm in an effort to halt this dangerous new development.

I couldn’t revel too much in my brother’s plight because I, too, was being scrutinized and found lacking at the dinner table. “Water, Jason, not milk,” my grandfather admonished me. “Milk will fill you up and then you won’t eat your macaroni.”

That makes sense to me now. Easter dinner was ten or more courses at my grandparents’ house. Chugging milk might dent my adolescent appetite. Now that I have three boys, I realize that wasn’t likely but my grandmother’s table was groaning under the weight of the food every Easter. (And Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, and every Sunday …)

First came the appetizers: stuffed mushrooms, fried artichoke hearts, homemade pepper biscuits and more. The first main course included lasagna with meats and gravy. Then came the ham with followed by salad and a spread of fruits and nuts. To top it off some years, she’d serve an angel food cake.

Holidays were big events for my family. The Burgundy Vino Rossi wine was uncorked and a vinyl table cloth covered the dining table. Now, as the pace of vaccinations increases and the pandemic nears an end, many families are making plans to celebrate the holidays with a multi-generational feast.  

It’s time to celebrate! At FCG, we are here to help you prepare for a spring and summer of reunions with family and friends. Our three showrooms are chock-full of dining sets in every size, style and brand name imaginable: Dessin Fournier, Baker, and Eldred Wheeler, to name a few. We’ve also got loads of cool, funky, rustic, industrial and contemporary choices, too.

Mangia! After a long and lonely year of Covid, enjoy the delicious joy of spending time with loved ones.

Beware the Health Dangers of New Furniture. Stock Up Instead at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 19, 2021 @ 10: 17 PM

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When I was a kid, I had a simple diet. My Star Wars lunchbox was packed daily with a PB&J, a carton of chocolate milk and an apple. At noon, the PB&J emerged somewhat squished, but it was a delicacy, nonetheless, and I ate it with gusto.

 

Today, such traditional fare would have me banished to a special “nut zone,” a table in the school cafeteria for those with nut-based lunches. Dangerous nut allergies – in fact, all allergies – have been on the rise for years, mystifying medical experts.

Public-health officials have identified another unexpected hazard: new furniture. Dermatologists are seeing an epidemic of skin rashes associated with new sofas and chairs from China. The culprit? Possibly the anti-mold spray with which furniture is doused before being stuffed into shipping containers bound for the U.S.  

Many of us in the furniture business are concerned about another potential hazard: performance fabrics, which are hugely popular now in homes. Performance fabrics are fire retardant, stain and fade resistant, highly durable and easy to clean. And yet …

Some researchers say these fabrics contain chemicals that release gases. You should be concerned. Many fabrics are manufactured with polyurethane particles or PVC. There’s evidence they slowly release gases that enter the lungs or skin.

So your new sofa might be making you sick. The most dangerous moment is when it arrives at your home. The tight plastic wrap that protects it from damage is like a greenhouse, holding in all the gases pouring out of the foam cushions and engineered fabrics. Once opened, the gases escape into your home.

Interestingly, buying furniture on the resale market may be better for your health. Hazardous gas emissions drops significantly after a few months. An FCG sofa or table won’t have that new furniture smell, but it also won’t have the dangers that accompany it.

If you simply can’t resist buying new furniture for your home, here’s my advice. Let it rest and air out in your garage for at least few days before bringing it into your home. Or, better yet, find a gently used piece of furniture at Furniture Consignment Gallery. Your body will thank you.

On This COVID Anniversary, FCG Celebrates Its Staff and Its Customers

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 13, 2021 @ 07: 23 AM

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One year ago, the evening news bristled with terrifying reports from Northern Italy. People were falling ill and, gasping for breath, dying. Ambulance sirens echoed day and night. The dead were buried hurriedly and without ceremony.

We watched prayerfully from our kitchens, hoping to be spared the worst of a disease that was rampaging first through China then Europe. Yet we suspected it was already raging through our country like a wildfire. Seemingly overnight, our hospitals were full, we’d donned masks and our economy was locked down.

At Midnight on March 24, 2020, we were sadly ordered to close the doors of Furniture Consignment Gallery, uncertain when we’d open them again.

Like many Americans, I spent the first week cleaning my yard. Week  two, I took a chainsaw to clear out the debris in the woods behind one of our stores. Sweaty manual labor was a kind of a salve to my anxiety. By summer, I thought, this virus will wither away like a dandelion hit with a shot of weed killer. I was wrong.

Covid was declared a national emergency a year ago. This week marks a full twelve months of grief, confusion, loss, fear and strife. We’ll be living with the far-reaching impact of this pandemic on our lives, our culture, and our economy for years to come.

And, yet, there were some bright spots in the midst of this tragedy.

FCG survived the lockdown, thanks to our amazing staff and supportive customers. Staffers met every challenge of reopening with determination. They endured the annoyance of eight-hour days behind a mask. They sanitized endlessly. They respectfully maintained the appropriate social distance to insure our customers’ and their fellow staffers’ safety.  

Our customers proved their loyalty. Though our doors were closed, they continued to find fabulous bargains in our stores, online and in droves. They trusted FCG, knowing our brand stands for quality furniture. That is an extraordinary accomplishment, one that makes me proud of our team and its work over the last sixteen years.

No one can predict what the next few months will hold for us as vaccine distribution accelerates and the threat of widespread disease abates. For now, I can say with great relief, FCG made it through and I’m grateful.

Homebuying Frenzy Hits and High-Quality Furniture is Hard to Find - Except at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 06, 2021 @ 07: 54 AM

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Here’s an alarming sign of the times: a home in a Boston suburb was listed for sale, and within 24 hours, it had garnered 3,400 views online. That’s 283 views of the house every hour around the clock for a full day! Or almost five views every minute.

Covid has rattled our world in ways unimaginable. City living was trendy until lockdowns caused cabin-fever. Now, everyone wants a yard, a garden, a patio and a pool. Suburban homes are suddenly hotter than firecrackers in July.   

So is furniture. After all, new homeowners want to feather their new nests especially if there’s a possibility of more quarantines. Problem is, the pandemic snarled the supply chain causing long waits for furniture. What’s a new home without a couch for movie night? What’s a new dining room without a table or chairs?

Fortunately, Furniture Consignment Gallery offers the rare exception to this frantic and frustrating situation. We’ve spent the week bringing truckloads of high-quality furniture into our three showrooms in Natick, Hanover and Plymouth. We are proud to carry nothing less than the finest pre-owned furniture in New England. 

Check out the two Arhaus Remington two-cushion sofas at our store in Natick. Their owner paid $4,500 for each sofa, but they didn’t quite fit her design aesthetic. We’ve priced each sofa at $2,499 and, even better, they’re available for immediate delivery.

If that doesn’t entice you into the store, we just marked down over 100 items in Natick to make way for next week’s expected arrivals. In Hanover and Plymouth, we’ve got even more furniture bargains from the basics to the extraordinary. Visit us this weekend!

Celebrating the First Sign of a Post-Covid World: A Yellow School Bus

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 27, 2021 @ 07: 32 AM

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Driver, rev your engines!

I’m talking to you, school-bus driver. I’ve missed you more than you could imagine. I’ll never take you for granted again, I promise. How would you like your coffee when you grind that big yellow bus to a stop in front of my house?

Tall, half-caff, soy latte, you say? No problem! As long as my son is onboard when you slam that door and trundle down the street at 7 a.m. on Monday. That’s the first official day of almost full-time school in our town, now that the pandemic is easing.

Excitement is at a fever pitch at our house this weekend, at least for me and my wife Diana. We’re so weary of zoom classes and the perpetual mess of having our three boys at home pretty much all the time.

So hallelujah! This is one small step for schoolkids, one giant leap for their parents. This weekend will be a whirlwind of preparation, but we’re all in. New sneakers? Ring ‘em up! New backpack? Take your pick, kiddo.

Now’s the time to reclaim some of the joys of life, post-Covid. So here’s an idea, moms: celebrate your new freedom! Make a beeline for FCG. We’ve missed you, too.

We’re all yours, spotlessly clean and fully stocked with stylish bargains. Stop by one of our three stores and enjoy some retail therapy. After a year of keeping the kids home from school, you know that old couch or upholstered chair has to go to the dump. Start your home-improvement project this weekend at FCG!